organizations awarded root2fruit grants for 2015

January 30, 2015 | ECF Press Release

ECF announced the nine recipients of its root2fruit capacity-building grants for 2015.

This year's new grantees exemplify the breadth and depth of Evanston's nonprofit community. ECF awarded three organizations first year funding and grants were renewed for second and third year grantee organizations. In addition, five root2fruit alumni organizations were granted funds for capacity-building projects.

new grantees

Three new grantees were selected to the program — Books & Breakfast, Meals at Home, and Muse of Fire. Each will receive grants of $10,000 with the anticipation of renewed funding in 2016 and 2017. Books & Breakfast is a before school program offering a nutritious breakfast and academic assistance so that every student enters his or her classroom prepared physically, emotionally, and academically. The mission of Meals at Home is to foster health and contribute to individual well-being and independence by delivering nutritious meals and medically prescribed diets and providing other support services to the home bound, elderly, disabled, and persons unable to care for their nutritional needs. Muse of Fire is dedicated to bringing world-class plays to the widest possible local audience, making them broadly accessible by performing in non-traditional spaces and providing free performances.

second and third year grantees

Grants were renewed for returning root2fruit grantees Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP), Literature for All of Us and Piven Theatre Workshop (second year grantees); and Curt’s Café, Frances Willard Historical Association and Warren G. Cherry Preschool (third year grantees).

grants to alumni organizations

For the third consecutive year, ECF also awarded grants to root2fruit program alumni. Five organizations will receive grants for capacity-building projects including Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse ($5,000), Infant Welfare Society of Evanston ($4,922), James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy ($1,500), Musical Offering ($3,119) and Piccolo Theater ($4,930).

about root2fruit

This is the 13th year of a partnership between the Mammel Foundation, and the Evanston Community Foundation. Since its inception in 2002, the root2fruit program has benefited over 40 organizations and awarded nearly $1.1 million. Designed to build the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofits in Evanston, the program includes a combination of grants renewable for three years and mentorship for grantees. Over the years, root2fruit grantee organizations have seen significant improvement in their budgets, fundraising and development capacity, boards, and ability to build their services.

transforming organizations

2014 rootfruit graduating organization Mudlark Theater reports that over their three year participation in root2fruit their annual revenue grew from just under $78,000 to over $240,000, a 211% increase. Their programming has grown to five productions a year and over 25 classes at 15 different schools. Managing Director Michael Miro said, “(ECF) took a chance on us. And we blossomed because of it…You helped us transform ourselves from a tiny little non-profit with a loyal following to a legitimate institution with deep roots in the community.”  

about the foundation

The EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, founded in 1986 with current assets of approximately $20 million in 80-plus funds, helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community. It builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good. The Foundation builds endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training.